Background: In addition to the considerable number of different chlorophyll structures originated naturally, prominent research is made to produce new specific semisynthetic structures. The final target is to obtain chlorophyll derivatives with even better bioactive properties than those of the natural parent compounds.
Method: A detailed, extensive and critic literature search has been made in Web of Science™.
Results: Great efforts are applying to optimize the function of chlorophyll-based photosensitizers, to understand the molecular mechanisms of the antioxidant and antigenotoxic properties of chlorophyll derivatives and, lastly, to investigate new biological actions of them. However, the fundamental physiological functions of the chlorophylls are their physicochemical properties.
Conclusion: This review aims to reflect the chemical grounds of the healthy and/or medical features of chlorophylls, including the consequences, advantages or even new actions that modifications over the chlorophyll structure introduce. Finally, new perspectives in the functionality of chlorophylls at molecular level are discussed.